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Copa De Oro Wants You to Be the Mixologist

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SANTA MONICA: Behind the pictured plywood will be a new lounge called Copa de Oro from Buddha's Belly owner Jonathan Chu. He took over the former 217 Lounge space just a few doors away from his SM location (2nd and Broadway) for the "distinguished cocktail lounge," not a meat market and not a dive bar, but "something in between." He talks of Mediterranean themes in the design, distressed walls, persimmon tiles, an African mahogany bar, and plenty of booth and banquette seating instead of the ottomoan/lounge chair look in most lounges.

Vincenzo Marianella has been tapped to oversee the cocktail menu, which will have a seasonal, farmer's market focus (since the bar is so close to the Wednesday and Sunday market), a long list of artisanal spirits, and a new twist that can either be great or will go terribly awry: "Be Your Own Mixologist" where the drinker can choose their own spirit, fruit, herb, mixer what have you. We imagine at least a few will come out with someone saying, "Just leave it to the professionals," but it could work. Chu's shooting for a mid-to-late December debut.